Unravelling Some of the Key Transformations in the Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Lignin

Matthew Y. Lui, Bun Chan, Alexander K. L. Yuen, Anthony F. Masters, Alejandro Montoya, Thomas Maschmeyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Using both experimental and computational methods, focusing on intermediates and model compounds, some of the main features of the reaction mechanisms that operate during the hydrothermal processing of lignin were elucidated. Key reaction pathways and their connection to different structural features of lignin were proposed. Under neutral conditions, subcritical water was demonstrated to act as a bifunctional acid/base catalyst for the dissection of lignin structures. In a complex web of mutually dependent interactions, guaiacyl units within lignin were shown to significantly affect overall lignin reactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2140-2144
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Energy(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • biomass
  • density functional theory
  • hydrothermal liquefaction
  • lignin
  • mechanism


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